Detroit Tigers observations: Matthew Boyd better, but offense whiffs again in 6-1 loss

Detroit Free Press

Left-hander Matthew Boyd had a strong start, but the Detroit Tigers allowed four runs in the sixth inning and fell to the Cleveland Indians, 6-1, on Saturday at Progressive Field.

Boyd allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts in 5 ⅓ innings. But he walked the leadoff hitter in the sixth and left with runners on first and second after Carlos Santana lined out.

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John Schreiber relieved Boyd and struck out Franmil Reyes. But he loaded the bases on a walk and gave up a three-run double with two outs to Domingo Santana. He followed that by allowing an RBI single to Roberto Perez as Cleveland took a 4-1 lead.

Tigers hitters were flummoxed and frustrated all night and managed just three hits with 13 strikeouts.

Right-hander Triston McKenzie shined in his major-league debut and allowed one run on two hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts.

The Tigers took the lead in the fourth inning when Willi Castro hit a home run to right field. It was the second homer of the season for Castro, who got the start instead of Niko Goodrum at shortstop.

The Tigers (10-15) still have a chance to win their first series since they completed a three-game sweep Aug. 9 at Pittsburgh with a win on Sunday.

Boyd, oh, Boyd

Boyd’s decent night was an indication of how much the Tigers’ starting pitching has struggled. He was the first Tigers starter to last at least five innings since Spencer Turnbull did so on Aug. 9. That’s a span of 11 games.

Miggy’s day

Miguel Cabrera went 0-for-4 and struck out in his first three at-bats. His three strikeouts came on 11 pitches and he looked overmatched when he couldn’t catch up to McKenzie’s 97 mph fastball in the fourth inning and Nick Wittgren’s 94 mph heater in the seventh. Cabrera was visibly frustrated after he struck put in the seventh and kicked his bat on the way to the dugout.

Hard to hit

The Tigers not only struggled to get hits off McKenzie, but they struggled to square up many balls. Victor Reyes’ leadoff line-drive out to center in the fourth was the first hard-hit ball off McKenzie.

Contact Carlos Monarrez at cmonarrez@freepress.com and follow him on Twitter @cmonarrez. The Free Press has started a new digital subscription model. Here’s how you can gain access to our most exclusive Tigers content. 

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